Unable to get the feds to pay war claims, Guam digs into its pocket
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The Guam War Claims Processing Center has issued the first batch of checks for war claims, totaling $42,000, the governor's office announced today.
The center is processing the second batch of claims, totaling $86,000, to be paid out next week.
The local war claims program, established by Guam Public Law 36-73 and funded through the local coffers, covers the reparation claims filed by war survivors who were left out of the initial war claims payments.
"We knew then, and still believe now, that we have a sacred duty to deliver justice and reparations to those remaining survivors and descendants, to acknowledge and help them heal from their wartime experiences and trauma,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.
The first war reparations program was funded through Section 30 funds.
“Recognition for wartime tragedies and trauma for too long has been a legacy issue, but our Administration made it a priority to leave behind a better legacy. One that not only honors our war survivors with fitting tributes, but also with meaningful action that uplifts their own legacies," the governor said.
Public Law 36-73, also known as "The Guam War World II Reconciliation Act of 2021," established a locally-implemented program to compensate those survivors and descendants who missed the initial deadline for the filing of war claims under federal law.
The law appropriates $10 million from the general fund to the Guam War Claims Fund to pay certified claims to compensable Guam victims and survivors of compensable Guam decedents as duly adjudicated by the adjudication committee.
The application filing period begins April 1, 2022, and closes on March 3, 2023.